What Now For Conservatives?

That’s a good question. I was watching Glenn Beck last night and he has come to the same conclusion that Michael Savage came to: Republicans have become Democrats and Democrats have become Socialists. I believe that too. John F. Kennedy was further to the right than John McCain is today. The leftward slide of the political scale is undeniable. But, short of just letting the country wallow in an economic hell such as we saw in the late 1970’s, what can we do about it?

Well, two columnists, Dan Calabrese and Michelle Malkin, have something to say on this issue.

First From Dan, writing for the North Star Writers Group:

Conservatism is out of favor at the moment not because it is the wrong philosophy of governance. It isn’t. It’s absolutely the right philosophy. It’s out of favor because its leaders have failed to apply it to address the priorities of the nation.

I hate to tell you this, but the typical American voter, unlike the typical conservative activist, is not sitting around cursing illegal immigrants, gay marriage, abortionists, left-wing media bias and gun control. Nor is the typical American sitting around wallowing in Ronald Reagan nostalgia.

Most Americans’ priorities are decidedly non-ideological. Will I have my job? Can I pay my mortgage and my grocery bill? Are my kids safe? Is the country safe? Will I be able to get health care if I need it?

Dan’s point is that we have lost sight of what we should be doing. It is not that we need a Conservative in power. It is that we need to address the current crop of problems with Conservative ideas.

Dan goes on:

These were the needs of the nation in 1980. Reagan didn’t go around saying, “Elect me because I’m conservative.” He convinced voters he understood the priorities of that particular time, and he convinced them he would do what he said he would do. And with the exception of cutting spending, he did. That’s why he won, and that’s why he’s now an icon. He applied conservative thinking to the problems of the day, developed solutions and convinced people he was the man to achieve the solutions.

And we Conservatives forgot about that. Instead of looking towards real Conservative thinkers like Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter and Fred Thompson, we got bogged down in arguments like who was most electable and who was most likely to defeat Hillary. Because we took our eyes off of the true goal, we got lost and encountered obstacles. We will now have another four years to contemplate this before we can try again.

Dan’s conclusion:

A conservative who connects with people on the things they care about, and explains why each can and should be addressed by a conservative answer, can win. But it’s the substance of the answer that matters, not the conservative label.

The right solutions are conservative ones. There’s no question about that. But with most of the stuff conservatives have been talking about lately, would it really be a surprise if the electorate doesn’t know that?

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Ask Rush Limbaugh If Conservatism Cares About America
Dan Calabrese
North Star Writers Group
February 7, 2008

And Michelle Malkin makes a similar statement with her most recent column. Instead of sitting around bewildered by the fact that John McCain is the GOP frontrunner, we can get motivated and still have a major impact no matter who is in the White House.

From Michelle’s column:

Dissatisfied with the flawed crop of GOP candidates who lacked the energy, organizational skills, and ideological strength to carry the conservative banner and ignite your passions? Then pay attention to the next generation of Republican state legislators who do vote consistently to lower your taxes, uphold the sanctity of life, defend marriage, and cut government spending. Support their re-election bids. Reward them for standing with you instead of their Democrat opponents and the liberal media.

If you can’t stomach John McCain, channel your support and energies to Republicans who do represent your values and who have treated the conservative base as allies instead of enemies. There are a new generation of combat veterans running for office who haven’t made a career of trashing the base. Check out staunch economic, social, and national security conservative congressional candidates like Iraq/Afghanistan veteran Eric Egland in California’s fourth district. Check out the Vets for Freedom (Vets For Freedom) group for their endorsements.

Opposed to the amnesty bill? Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and John Cornyn of Texas all fought the McCain-Kennedy-Graham-Martinez-Bush open-borders disaster. All of those Senators are up for re-election this year. Send them some money. Then send a few more bucks to the enforcement proponents on the House side as well.

Don’t sit and wait for the fence to get built. It won’t be finished under the Bush administration or a McCain administration or an Obama or Hillary Clinton administration. What you can do is pressure mayors and police chiefs and city councils to rescind dangerous sanctuary policies. What you can do is alert county sheriffs that you want them to work with the feds to end illegal alien catch-and-release policies in your neighborhood.. What you can do is stop patronizing businesses that you know are knowingly employing illegal immigrants using fake Ids and stolen Social Security numbers.

Yes, we can still be active and we can still make a difference. I will continue posting on this blog in the hopes that other like-minded Conservatives will read it and then discuss these ideas with other people.

I won’t give up.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Quo Vadis, Conservatives?
Michelle Malkin
TownHall.com
February 7, 2008

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